17.03. Introduction to Political Thought Politics I. Revolutions (Book 5)

17.03. Introduction to Political Thought
Lecture Outline: Aristotle’s Politics Bk 5 (ch 1-5, 8), Bk 6 (ch 1-5), Bk 7 (entire)
I. Revolutions (Book 5)
A. “State of mind” of revolutionaries: not just interests but feeling of injustice
B. Causes
1. desire for gain and honor
2. insolence/arrogance
3. preeminence/superiority
4. fear
5. contempt
6. disproportionate increase in any part of state
7. difference of races
8. neglect of small things
C. Means
D. Why democracy more stable than oligarchy
II. Preserving regimes
A. Regimes should be concerned with
1. Stability
2. Justice
3. Virtue
B. Some reforms
1. Foster spirit of obedience to law
2. Treat others in a spirit of equality
3. Unite people against a common enemy
4. Prevent tyrants from emerging by avoiding excessive honors
5. Keep money out of politics
III. Democracy (Book 6)
A. Based on liberty and equality
B. Institutions of democracy
C. Difficulty of knowing what is just and equal in theory
IV. Best regime (Book 7)
A. First inquire into the best life
1. Types of goods necessary for the best life
2. Contemplative/philosophical life v. active/political life
B. Objections to political life as morally compromising
1. Justice requires the use of force
2. Danger of imperialism
C. Conditions of the best regime (“nothing impossible”)
D. Training men to become good and excellent (nature, habit, reason)